Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

There Can Be Too Many Suckers at the Table

Everyone knows the old saw about poker: If you can’t spot the sucker, it’s probably you. It’s nice to think you could sit down at a table with incompetent players and take their money. It probably works in poker. Mark Suster applies the aphorism to angel investing in his post Dealflow – Are You Sitting [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Yes Virginia, You Can Work on Great Technology at Startups

You can work on great technology at startups. You wouldn’t think that would be a controversial statement. But it is if you believe Ted Tso’s defense of Google, “Google has a problem retaining great engineers? Bullcrap.” Ted dismisses the engineering that goes on in a startup, saying:
Similarly, you don’t work on great technology at a startup.  Startups, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Three Months Without Cable

As was widely reported in the media, the second and third quarter of 2010 show a steady decline in cable subscriptions. This is earth-shaking for the cable companies, who have seen growth in US subscribers over their entire history. It’s a key indicator of not only consumers being more careful with their spending, but the [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Lean Startups and the Theory of the Firm

If you spend much time in the entrepreneurial corners of the blogosphere, you’re certain to have heard about lean startups. If you haven’t, check out Eric Reis and Steve Blank. The core of the lean startup is two related ideas: continuous validation and building the smallest company that can validate an idea. The result is [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Apple is a Luxury Brand, Android Will Never Be

Recently I’ve had several good conversations about exactly what business Apple is in. They have clearly transcended their traditional role as a computer maker. Some people think that Apple has become a media company, or a telecommunications company. What they have really done is to become a luxury brand. As a luxury brand they are [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Passive Personal Networking: How to Let Others Network for You

Talking to some friends recently, I’ve realized that many people don’t think of themselves as networkers. They are reluctant to get started playing that “game”. Even when they are highly capable engineers looking for a new position at a startup, they don’t want to “ask their friends to find them a job.”
Everyone knows that networking [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Buy It Like You Mean It and Vendor Relationship Management

I just got back from the launch party for Buy It Like You Mean It, a startup non-profit that is “enabling the socially conscious consumer”. I’m a big fan of what they are doing. As a free-market capitalist, I like to think that the power of markets can solve all kinds of problems. As [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bungee Connect: What I learned about platform evaluations

Catching up on email this Saturday, I got the opportunity to take a survey about my experience evaluating Bungee Connect. Evaluating bungee connect has been something that has popped onto my radar several times. They purport to be an application platform for web applications. They have their own language, their own ui toolkit, their [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Information Wants To Be Half Price

If you haven’t heard already, Steve Jobs is expected to announce on Monday that iTunes will begin offering 24-hour movie rental for $4. This is widely reported not just by traditional rumor sites, but by people like Salon. And, by and large, people have been complaining about the price. Including me. Digging deeper, I [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Lemons Meme in Software

A few weeks ago Bruce Schneier discovered a classic economics paper, “The Market for Lemons”. The paper describes the behavior of markets where sellers have detailed information about the products, particularly the quality of the products, that buyers do not have. It uses the example of used cars.
In these markets, the price buyers are willing [...]

Read the rest of this entry »